Happy Holidays 12/15/2020


As 2020 comes to an end, we can look back with pride at the events and many accomplishments of our Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club during this very unusual year!

In January, LWRWC members, husbands, and friends gathered in a covered cabana at the Sarasota Polo Club to share a Picnic/Potluck. The feast was catered by members and guests before watching an exciting Polo Match. The theme was the 1980’s which created a “vintage” ambience in terms of fashion styles, music, and entertainment. The group had the fun of cheering for an excellent woman Polo Player who was a crowd favorite!

Jannuary 2020 saw its first ever Game Day event at the River Club Grill. Forty LWRWC members enjoyed a fun filled Game Day Mixer and delicious buffet luncheon. The ladies enjoyed Mahjong, Canasta, Mexican Train, Board Games and the fun of socializing during lunch and at the game tables.

In February, 35 members enjoyed a Historic Sarasota Trolley Tour where they experienced the unique history of Sarasota’s oldest downtown neighborhoods. They learned about the architects and developers who designed some of Sarasota’s most unique homes and buildings, like the Blue Pagoda, Crocker Memorial Church, and Splendida, Circus lore, Amish culture. Colorful stories about Sarasota’s founders provided a wonderful overview of Sarasota’s rich and amazing history.

In March, members, husbands, and friends enjoyed a wonderful time at Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo held at the Mosaic Arena in Arcadia. The 2020 rodeo, referred to as the 92nd “Granddaddy of Em’ All,” entertained the spectators with exciting competitions that included bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.

Unfortunately, beginning in late March, due to the pandemic, there were many other events planned for 2020 that had to be cancelled.

In April, our Sewing Angels began making and delivering masks to LWR Medical Center. Masks were also made for merchants and restaurants on Main Street, San Marco Square, and home health facilities in the area. Masks were donated as far away as Michigan! (thank you to Kristi Allgood, Trish Newman’s Daughter who took time of out of her Ph.D. in epidemiology to make us masks. In total, over 3500 masks were donated! Several angels are still sewing and stock piling just in case.

 In June, a Barn Drive for SMART was organized. Our generous members donated approximately $8550 in supplies and cash to help SMART to help make up for decreased fundraising because of the pandemic.
Our Backpack Challenge for the children at HOPE netted 30 backpacks filled with school supplies for the new school year and $2650 in cash for expenses.

We will continue to collect and deliver clothing and items to the HOPE CHEST thrift shop in Bradenton. Please contact MaryLee Danahy if you have items to donate.

During the Friendship Giving Drive for SOLVE in November, our generous members once again collected a total of $1,050 in checks and $2800 in donated baby shower type merchandise. The items will be delivered when the new house is ready in early January. The committee who worked on this project will all be invited to attend. We will unload and help fill the shelves in preparation for the Grand opening.

A Valentine’s Day with Love Drive is planned for the Children’s Guardian Fund in February.
A mid-year distribution of $2000 was sent to each of our four adopted charities and an additional $2000 will be distributed to our four charities at our January meeting.

The following numbers are incredible!
Drum Roll, Please……

($15,150 cash during our Charity Drives $35,250 in-kind Donations)
(Thank you to our INCREDIBLY generous members, sponsors, and guests)

GRAND TOTAL FOR 2020: $65,100
Thank you to our fantastic and creative Philanthropy Chairs
Eileen Buzzard and Trish Newman

Special Interest Groups

Several Special Interest Groups continued through the pandemic. Lady Bikers and Walkers are still exercising together (please contact Arminee Bowler if you are interested in joining) LWRWC Book Club is meeting the third Thursday of each month at the LWR Athletic Club (please contact Mary Beth Steffens if you would like to join) A new group, VIP Performances (very impressive performances) enjoyed a “Tea Time” concert by the Sarasota Orchestra in November. The concert, Serenade for Strings, was streamed on Zoom. Two more performances are scheduled, a holiday program in December and Valentine’s Day concert in February. (If you are interested in these two remaining concerts, please contact either Monika Templeman or Helene Levin) We hope to re-start a few more groups after the first of the year.

The LWRWC board was able to keep the club going using ZOOM!

Thanks to Cheryl Brening (and especially her husband Warren,) the board continued to meet monthly via zoom! (sometimes even more) In September, our general meetings were again underway! General Meetings will continue on ZOOM until we are able to meet safely!

In September, members met Anne LeBaron-Heller, from of Take Stock in Children and learned about this marvelous program that makes a life changing difference for so many at-risk children in our community. Take Stock in Children Inc. is a nonprofit organization, transforming our community and our state one student at a time. TSIC provides college scholarships and mentors for deserving at-risk students, who with their families agree to academic service and behavior standards. Mentors commit to meet with students weekly at their school. Over its 20-year history, TSIC scholars have achieved a 100 percent high school graduation rate, and 92 percent go on to college. It currently serves 199 students in sixth through 12th grade. The mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, academically qualified students by providing mentorships and opportunities for post-secondary education. TSIC instills hope for a better life. The comprehensive services begin in middle school, continue through high school, and remain a support system afterwards with the TSIC program.
Mentors are always needed! You can reach Anne Heller at 941-713-4454 or by email at AnneHeller@TakeStockManatee.org

On Thursday, November 12, 2020, LWRWC members participated in a second fall general meeting via Zoom. The meeting topic, “Healthy Stress Management and Wellness,” and guest speaker Kery Helmer, a Physiologist and Yoga Therapist with a degree in Integrative Medicine, was a perfect and timely choice considering the extreme stress caused by the pandemic and other environmental factors beyond our control. Kery, who is referred to as the “Superhero Guru” by her students, explained that we can use techniques from yoga to rewire our brains and nervous systems to control our reactions to stress although we cannot control the external factors that are causing us stress. This is especially important because six major causes of death are linked to chronic stress. Kery’s platform, Super Vibes, is a modern-day approach to timeless practices and philosophies from Yoga & Ayurveda. Blending anatomy science with a holistic, mind body approach to health, Kery delivers her programs through international Yoga & Ayurveda Teachings, Hospital Based Rehab Programs, Stress Management Groups, Workshops, Teacher Trainings and Retreats. Members can participate in her classes.

Due to the pandemic, Kery is currently holding virtual classes and invited LWRWC members to consider accessing her You-tube videos and/or joining her Zoom Sessions that are available free of charge. If you are interested in receiving class links, recording, and event updates from Kery Helmer, email her at kery@super-vibes.com and she will add you to her list. Although Kery is not holding live Zoom sessions in November, she suggests going to the YouTube Page and using one of the recordings that are there for you.

Results of the Member Vote on the Slate of Officers for 2020

Co Presidents: Cheryl Breining/Helene Levin
Vice President: Carol Belmont
Treasurer: Kathleen Cleveland
Recording Secretary: Jan Dobbs
Corresponding Secretary: Ann Sledz

We look forward to 2021 and are hopeful that we will be in full operation by early Spring. Please don’t forget to join us for our first General Meeting at 6:30 PM on January 14, 2021. We will hear from representatives of our four adopted charities about the positive impact the LWRWC has made.

Until we meet again, please enjoy a Floridian version of Winter Wonderland.

(you can fast forward to .25 where the song begins!)

Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!!!!!